By Abiodun KOMOLAFE
Change is inevitable! The trouble however is that, most times, one doesn’t see it coming; not even the military; otherwise, all coups would have been preempted and suppressed before they’re eventually executed. So also, it is reasonable to say in public administration that, in the few weeks of Bola Tinubu’s administration, there have been many upheavals and things that quite a few Nigerians never believed were possible that have been announced and addressed; and the nation has remained the same, even stronger.
Going forward, President Tinubu wants to fly in the air at 1 a.m. He wants all the youth fixed. But for these and others to become a reality, order and stability must take preeminence. Incontestably, order and stability are remedies for so many things, most especially, development.
Till tomorrow, there exists a deep argument about the adequacy or otherwise of the definition of development because it’s not the bigness of a small thing but an all-encompassing advancement of a phenomenon or a plethora of such phenomena. Even skeptics would also worry about these essential requirements for nation-building. As fate would have it, the military that used to have it so good has also been touched.
The security architecture of Nigeria has been duplicated in so many centres such that they may look innocent; but then, they are problematic. So, unless her architectural profile is urgently redrawn, the Project Nigeria remains exposed. The more reason people in government must keep thinking, for it is not yet ‘uhuru’.
Tinubu needs to be abreast of the state of security in the Nigerian nation. So far, what has improved about the country’s safety profile? The restive situation of Nigeria’s youth: can it be taken for granted? For the couple of weeks that this administration has been in place, the youth have not been seen to be agitating for anything, not even at the motor parks; but does that mean that all is well? Can the situation be likened to the peace of the graveyard? Or is it that of the youth temporarily suspending their sorrow? Or the gathering storm of a sort?
It is therefore left for the government not to take the presence of the multitudinous population of the youth in a vibrant society for granted for it will be an error to suppose any intangible similarities among them. Where the kids – especially the marked proportion of the population that claims to be youth – are disorganized, poor and broke, and with no vision, trouble is imminent. It is a sure road to double disadvantage and cruelty, both ways; and one cannot blame anybody.
Already, too many people are outside the excessively small, cagy arrangement of people and structure because the people are understudied and numbered. If nothing is done, the sanctity of Nigeria’s data in terms of population will remain laughable for centuries to come. How do I mean? Unless the youth are taken care of, all the other aspects of advancement in terms of security and development are a waste of time and resources.
So, fix the security and associated social networking and all other things shall be added unto the government. Notable among them is the unbridled ability or agility of the youth which will bring to bear things that are of times and seasons globally, unhindered.
An adventure into the trajectory of the functional flow of public administration and specific political antecedents in Nigeria will confirm that ours is a society without the collective organic vision. But then, the hearts of those who use blackmail as a means of economic survival tell us a great story about how politics is played in this part of the world. That’s why ‘accidental politicians’ try to fool the illuminated majority, making use of the same principles of democracy to justify their allegations and expectations.
What is more worrisome is that Nigerians are so disoriented with regard to the basic understanding and essence of communal togetherness. If the rule of law is weak or jaundiced, then the society is equally jaundiced. It means one has to resort to self-help to achieve some things; and that’s not good enough for a country that is aspiring to become developed.
Dear country is also acutely overawed by infrastructural and energy challenges. It is therefore appropriate for Tinubu’s government to get futuristic so that potentials can be realized. Unlike the past where priorities were rashly misplaced without recourse to conscience, this administration must rush its ideas and the good things it has for Nigeria. Let it be that the president has a legacy that is already bequeathed to him to do all that is constitutionally possible to pull Nigeria from the brink.
Any man who wants to hear the truth, the lies and the funny sides of the Nigerian nation should visit a newsstand and the social media market and he will not be disappointed. Even if they end up giving the contracts to their wives and concubines, let men from the country’s policy think-tanks visit these informal structures which should not be ignored and they will discover that the troubles remain the same!
The anger and feasibly known causes of anger of the youth are now many more than ever before. Since #EndSARS, institutions have not stopped turning out graduates who, in the understanding of many Nigerians, are mature enough and are entitled to get jobs. That fire remains unquenched, not even by the new government. To this extent, the joy and expectation of every graduate who has acquired one skill or another is dashed immediately he or she is out of the polytechnic or university because the little window through which he or she was previously assured is fast closing.
Nigeria’s youth are determined to strive for greater heights, but they have serious obstructions from their rulers. What they really need are enabling environments, sustainable policies, enhancement orders, security assurances and sincerity of purpose. What they require is genuine leadership, not rulership. Unfortunately, events in our recent past have made most of the youth become so agitated that some were being labeled rebellious. Recycling the same old and unproductive systems and personalities has also built cynical orientations amongst them. But the truth is that no sane person likes to settle for violence as a way of life.
What are we saying? Poverty doesn’t know the complexion or flags of political parties. Therefore, any employment of the youth will serve more than the family of the employed. Apart from being the bringer of hope for the forgotten lot, it will also serve as hope for the wretched portion of the youth. We need to bear in mind that the uneducated and the low-educated youth are in the majority. They even form the bulk of the voting public.
In any case, the ambassadorial members of the Tinubu workforce – appointees like Zacchaeus Adedeji (45 years; Special Adviser, Revenue), Olu Verheijen (46 years; Special Adviser, Energy) and John Uwajumogu (46 years; Special Adviser, Industry, Trade and Investment) has rekindled the hope in the youth; that they can still get it right, provided they are backed by the right laws by the National Assembly, the right executive orders from the presidency, and supportive bureaucratic organs to work with. Apart from bringing “a diverse range of expertise, deep-rooted knowledge, and unwavering dedication to the betterment of Nigeria”, these young technocrats have Nigeria’s youth to answer to. So, they cannot afford to underperform or perform undependably. Specifically for Adedeji, his antecedents have already shown the type of man he is!
May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, grant us peace in Nigeria!
*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State, Nigeria ([email protected])
PHOTO: Leadership News